Diary of a Freelance Writer: 14 December 2016

The writing week has not been very productive. This is because it was mostly interrupted, either by chickens or by having a poorly poet at home. Thankfully, the chickens have settled in and the poet has gone back to work – I mean because he’s better, and not because he’s not under my feet! 🙂 I do actually enjoy having him home, even if he is poorly.

Today, however, the interruption is mostly the internet not working properly. Yesterday I had 2 powercuts and today the internet isn’t working. It does annoy me when things you pay for don’t work.

Wednesday 7 December 2016
On Wednesday I managed to write 1,223 words for a blog post and I finally settled down to some study work. For this I managed to write 180 words of notes. (They all count!) The rest of the day was taken up with chickens and the husband.

Thursday 8 December 2016
On Thursday, the only ticks in my diary are against gig list admin x 2 and chickens … I’m sure I did a lot of reading work, though. Perhaps I should start to log my reading work too.

Friday 9 December 2016
On Friday I wrote a blog post about the chickens and I backed up all of my critical data on the desktop computer. I managed some more study work, this time I read an entire module for the article writing course.

At the weekend we had a visit to Doncaster on Saturday, a Monkey Dust gig on Saturday night and a visit to Birmingham on Sunday. We got back just after dark on Sunday, the first time we weren’t there to put the chickens to bed while it was still light, and we thought we’d have a song and dance trying to find them all … but when we got home they’d all already put themselves to bed and were clucking quite contentedly. All we had to do was put their water in and lock the door.

Monday 12 December 2016
By Monday we were in more of a routine with the chickens, and they seem to need less attention the longer they are with us. The poet went back to work as well, so I was able to settle down to some work.

I wrote 620 words for a blog post, 500 words of the second draft of a short story, and 136 words for my article writing assignment. This was more like it. However …

Tuesday 13 December 2016
… on Tuesday I felt like Widow Twanky with all the household chores I had to do – including chickens! They took the entire morning – empty the dishwasher, fill the dishwasher, empty the tumble dryer, fold the washing, empty the washing machine, fill the tumble dryer, sort the dirty washing, fill the washing machine, empty all the bins in the house, take the recyclables out, feed the garden birds, feed the pets …

By the time I sat down at the computer to do some work, the power went off! I did some reading instead, and when the power came back on again I tried again … and it went off again! So the next time it came on I saved some work to memory stick and booted up the notepad. Then, at least, I was able to tweak a rejected short story and get it ready for going out again. When I got back onto the desktop computer, I printed off the story and a cover letter.

When the power went off for the second time, I re-jigged the diary for this week and completed it for next week. I’ve turned away a lot of editing work this month so I can concentrate on my own writing work, and I wanted to schedule in the various drafts of the short material.

I wrote the Canadian Christmas cards and decided to go for a run out to post them as the last guaranteed posting date was the following day. I also posted the tweaked short story, so that should arrive on Wednesday too. While I was out I went up to the farm to collect our milk and a bag of potatoes. Then I nipped to the new Fox Valley shopping centre in Stocksbridge to get the poet his Christmas card.

By the time I got back, I only had time to do more reading, and then put the chickens to bed.

This week’s homework is to continue to write up some of the drafts for my short material. This consists of short stories, fillers, reader’s true experiences (RTEs) and the odd article query. I also want to finish going through Diary of a Scaredy Cat so that can be up and for sale in the new year.

What are you up to this week?

Diary of a freelance writer: 30 November 2016 (*** rant alert ***)

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_winnerWell, today is the last day of NaNoWriMo 2016 and, for reasons that should become clear, I have mixed emotions.

The bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and also anyone on Facebook and Twitter, will have already spotted that I WON this year’s NaNo. It’s the fourth time I’ve officially entered, and it’s the second time I’ve won.

Last year I threw caution (and the rock-solid outline) to the wind and wrote Mardi Gras by the seat of my pants. Mardi Gras is still awaiting completion, because it’s nothing like anything I’ve ever written before. But it will be finished.

This year I decided to have a crack at finishing Catch the Rainbow. It’s now, thanks to NaNo, at more than 78,000 words and the first draft is practically finished. Practically. I still have a few tweaks and a couple of extra scenes to do, possibly around 5,000 words-worth (ha! do you see what I did there?) of extra work. But the main thing is, it’s the closest to finished that it’s ever been, and with that I’m delighted.

*** rant alert ***
However … while I absolutely fell in love with Scrivener while I was writing these extra 50,000 words, I am also furious. Not once, but TWICE Scrivener lost my latest work. I’m not really sure how this is happening at the moment, but it seems to be because I’ve been saving it to both destktop and memory stick. Sometimes, if it opens a version by mistake, and it’s not necessarily the most recent version, it’s OVER-RIDING the most recent version because this one is the last to be opened. This is SO WRONG. It should at least ask.

When it did it the first time, I was still quite early on in the project, but it lost around 2,000 words and two whole scenes. From that moment on, at the end of each session, I made sure to compile to Word every time, email that Word file to myself, and then I saved the latest of the Scrivener files on both the desktop and the memory stick.

BUT … yesterday it did it again, and I don’t know why.

Unfortunately, I’m unable to email the latest Scrivener files to myself. Fortunately, I still had my latest compile in Word. Unfortunately, it didn’t include things that aren’t included in the compile.

I’ve got around it for now and, for now, I was able to complete this year’s NaNoWriMo, but either I’m doing something very wrong, or it’s a bug and Scrivener needs to sort it out.

Anyway, *** end of rant *** … here’s how the rest of the week went …

Wednesday 23 November 2016
Wednesday was day 23 of NaNoWriMo but it was a wrench and I gave up after only 680 words. In the afternoon, I started a new edit for a book, and we did the shopping that evening.

Thursday 24 November 2016
On Thursday, I caught up a little and wrote 1,996 words for NaNo and 684 for a blog post.  I continued with the new edit, and I popped in to see the neighbours as I’ve not seen them for ages and had a few minutes to spare … I think I was down there for around an hour in the end …

Friday 25 November 2016
On Friday, I caught up some more and wrote 2,019 words for NaNo. I did some more editing (it’s not an easy edit), and I raised an invoice (hurrah!).

On Saturday, I wrote 1,726 words for NaNo. But we had a very long day on Sunday visiting and ferrying parents, and by the time we got home, I was very tired. Before we knew it, it was bedtime and – for the first time this year – I forgot to do my NaNo.

Monday 27 November 2016
First job on Monday was Sunday’s NaNo, and I wrote 1,710 words. Then I wrote 506 words for a blog post, added 277 words to Diary of a Scaredy Cat, and then wrote 1,810 words for Monday’s NaNo. I felt very smug by the end of Monday, especially as I also managed more editing.

Tuesday 29 November 2016
On Tuesday I wrote 1,514 words for NaNo, but I was definitely running out of steam. I think the only thing keeping me going was sight of the finish line. I also did some admin. With NaNo soon to be over, I’ll be starting work on short material again and the record files were all over the place, and markets information needed updating. I also continued with the sticky edit.

Homework w/c 30 November 2016
We already know that I finished NaNoWriMo and the thing I’m looking forward to the most is writing something different. I will finish the loose ends of Catch the Rainbow, but as there are “modern day” scenes in this otherwise historical story that feature Marcie Craig and that were very, very easy to write, I’m itching to get back to her next story, The Beast Within, which is the immediate sequel to Night Crawler.

(Although the scenes in Catch the Rainbow happen in between the two stories … and also, a character that features quite heavily in The Beast Within made his first appearance in Catch the Rainbow too, but in the historical part.)

Thursday 1 December will be new month admin day, and then I want to shift some short stories, get those out earning their keep. I had one rejection during NaNo, and I’d like to apply the suggestions before sending that one on its way again.

Our hens arrive at the weekend, on Saturday, so we’ll be busy with those. And the poet has his first gig in over a month that night.

What are you up to this week?

Diary of a freelance writer: 23 November 2016

Oops a daisy, a day late – and it was all going so well … well, of a fashion.

I’ve been mostly doing NaNoWriMo, but also clearing a proofreading job. I hadn’t realised the deadline was this Thursday, I thought it was Friday. So it’s a good job I checked. As it was, I delivered it last night (Wednesday), so it was early/on time-ish. And I was having a bit of a breather, a bit of a potter, a bit of a popping-in-to-see-the-neighbour. But that was this morning, Thursday, and now we have to pretend it’s yesterday – Wednesday.

Wednesday 16 November 2016
Wednesday was day 16 of NaNoWriMo and, until yesterday (this  Wednesday), I was doing quite well. I wrote 1,751 words for NaNo and I wrote 961 words for a blog post.

In the afternoon I edited a long short story, 10,000 words, and got that delivered.

Wednesday evening was band practice, so I did the shopping.

Thursday 17 November 2016
On Thursday, I wrote 1,772 words for NaNoWriMo in the morning, and I started the proofreading job that I delivered yesterday in the afternoon. I also did gig list admin but “diary work” has now moved to Tuesdays.

Friday 18 November 2016
On Friday, I wrote 687 words for a blog post, I wrote 1,715 words for NaNoWriMo, and I raised an invoice (hurrah!). I had an early finish today, though, as we both had hair appointments at 4pm.

Long weekend
On Saturday, I wrote 1,717 words for NaNoWriMo. We decided to stay in for the rest of the day and potter around the house and garden.

On Sunday, I wrote 1,712 words for NaNoWriMo.

Monday 21 November 2016
On Monday morning, I wrote 575 words of a blog post and I wrote 1,714 words for NaNo.

The afternoon was spent “meal planning” as we’ve started a new diet. As I was about to print off some recipes and a meal plan, however, the printer packed up. It was asking for a new imaging unit and refused to budge, but some online research proved that this could cost up to £90 (apx $112).

The printer is just under 2 years old, and some more research told us that this particular printer is designed to switch off at 5,000 copies – no warning, no time to do it, it just went. But some more research told us we could repair and reset it ourselves, so we thought we’d try that first before shelling out for a new printer. They’re so cheap now it wouldn’t have been worth buying a new imaging unit.

Tuesday 22 November 2016
On Tuesday NaNo started to slow down. I was running out of steam and each new word was like pulling teeth. However, I managed 1,650 words before calling it a day.

I was in receipt of a new hen house by 9am. We’re rescuing 6 caged hens at the end of their commercial lives and they’re coming on 3 December.

The afternoon was spent on the proofreading job that I thought didn’t have to be in until this Friday. It was Tuesday that I discovered the deadline was actually Thursday, so I cracked on with that.

The poet nipped out in his lunch break to find the part we needed for the printer. It cost him 9p (apx 11c), so he bought 2 just to be on the safe side … When he got home, he did the business, reset the page counter and removed the grossly expensive part and … voila! The printer worked! And it was better than it was before. So there’s another 5,000 pages I have before it blows again.

Homework w/c 23 November 2016
If I can keep going, I still have NaNoWriMo until 30 November. This afternoon (Thursday) I start a new edit, a book this time. That should be done by early next week. I also have another invoice to raise on Friday (hurrah!). If I can keep this up, I should be able to invoice for something at least once a week. This is very good with Christmas just around the corner.

The hen house will be built tomorrow (Friday), if the poet manages to get a day off. And we’ll be swotting up on keeping chickens before our ladies arrive.

What are you up to this week?